SCOTUS, DOMA, and Prop 8

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), handed out opinions on two very important cases: one regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the other regarding California’s Proposition 8 (Prop 8). Once again, SCOTUS got it wrong; however, that doesn’t mean same-sex marriage is now legal in all the nation.

Here’s what happened:
SCOTUS struck down Section 3 of DOMA, the section that stated that the federal government has the right define marriage for the purposes of federal benefits and laws. SCOTUS said that Section 3 was unconstitutional because it discriminated against people who were granted rights under states’ laws and the federal government does not have the right to overrule the states’ definitions of marriage. SCOTUS got it wrong on DOMA because, just as the state has the right to define how state benefits are applied, the federal government has the right to define how federal benefits are applied.

Prop 8 was a referendum to amend the California constitution to define marriage as only one man/one woman. It was passed, therefore, the California constitution would, by definition, forbid same-sex marriage. Elected officials of California were sued in District Court but the elected officials did not defend themselves.  The District Court allowed the supporters of Prop 8 (citizens of California) to defend the case.

The judge in the District Court opined that Prop 8 was unconstitutional and ordered the elected officials not to enforce Prop 8. The elected officials did not appeal the ruling and order, but the District Court allowed the supporters of Prop 8 to file an appeal. The Ninth Circuit Court and the California Supreme Court agreed that the supporters were allowed to file the appeal.

What SCOTUS said was that the supporters of Prop 8 had no legal standing to file the appeal in a federal court. In fact, SCOTUS vacated the Ninth Circuit Court’s answer to this question the case was remanded to the District Court. SCOTUS got it wrong on Prop 8 because the people of California should have the right to defend a properly voted upon state constitution amendment if the elected officials will not uphold their constituency’s rights.

Here’s what SCOTUS didn’t do:
SCOTUS did not rule that Prop 8 was unconstitutional
SCOTUS did not strike down the entirety of DOMA
SCOTUS did not legalize same-sex marriage in all fifty states

Why is this important? Because traditional marriage, defined as one man/one woman, is the only type of relationship that can bring forth children, and in the best interest of the children, traditional marriage should be the only legal definition of marriage our nation has.

For more information on DOMA, see the Alliance Defending Freedom’s webpage on DOMA.

For more information on Prop 8, see the Alliance Defending Freedom’s webpage on Prop 8.

Recently Read Blogs

I just wanted to share with you to blog posts I recently read.

From Public Catholic:

Wives, talk to your husbands. Husbands, listen to your wives.

And while you’re at it, forgive one another for the subtle differences between the sexes that make this post necessary. There’s a reason God made us like this. When husbands and wives cooperate with one another this way, love between them grows. Our differences, which can drive us apart if we are stupid about them, can also meld us together for life.

Click here to read the entire post.

From Why I am Not a Feminist:

Both feminists and men’s rights activists are singularly concerned with their rights; they become very hostile with anyone who brings up the issue of obligations, particularly the obligations of adults towards children. Common sense, everyday observations, and the traditions of every society that has ever existed indicate that men and women are different, and that what children need from their mothers is different from what they need from their fathers. A patriarchal society in which men work and run things and women focus on children is geared towards meeting the needs of children, but egalitarians don’t want to live in a society that is dedicated to the well being [sic] of children. They believe that society should be dedicated to making life fair for egalitarians.

Click here to read the entire post.

Women in Combat and What Real Men Don’t Do

Last week, the Pentagon suddenly announced that women would be allowed to serve in direct combat. Where did this come from? Who was pushing for the right for women to kill someone? Why would someone WANT to do this, to purposely put yourself in a position where you would have to kill another human being?

After some reflection, I’ve decided that we shouldn’t be surprised by this action. Our society does not want to understand that men and women, although equal, are not the same. We are not the same biologically, physically, emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually. There’s no disputing these realities:

  • Men and women have different internal structures designed by God for different purposes (biologically);
  • Men and women have different capabilities in regards to strength and size–yes, there are women who are stronger than me, but the average woman is not as strong or big as the average man (physically);
  • Men and women have different feelings that emerge while experiencing the same situation (emotionally);
  • Men and women have different thought processes to handle the same situation (psychologically); and,
  • Men and women were given different roles to play in our families and our culture by God (spiritually).

Even if you don’t believe in God, you cannot brush away all the other differences between men and women. This DOES NOT mean that women are inferior to men and it DOES NOT mean that men are inferior to women. What it does mean is that men and women have different roles in society and when we blur those distinctions, then society suffers. And when society suffers, families and individuals suffer.

For example, women were created by God to be the bearers and nurturers of human life. That’s a biological fact that cannot be avoided. But when a woman, who has a desire to bring forth life, is told to go ahead and kill it instead, what is going through her mind? That’s the same paradox we have set up with legalized abortion in this country. A time that should be joyous (pregnancy) is now turned into an opportunity for the abortion clinic to make several hundred dollars and the woman is told that killing her child is the best thing that she could do in that situation.

Here’s another example: men were tasked by God to protect and defend women. But now that a woman will be the one defending herself and the man, he has no reason to step up and perform his role. I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be able to defend themselves, they should because men aren’t always available or able to do so, but if the woman takes the primary role, then what is the man to do? Allowing women to serve in direct combat doesn’t elevate the status of women but actually does the opposite, it devalues the woman because now they can be killed with no compunction since they are just another combatant.

This is also seen in today’s legal abortion culture. A man can get a woman pregnant and not have to take care of her or his child by telling the woman to get an abortion. This lack of duty or responsibility can also be seen in the low numbers of the younger generation getting married. For the men: why take on this responsibility when the women want to take care of themselves? For the women: why get married when the men are irresponsible and absent? Do you see the vicious circle we have created?

Author Linda Bartlett has written extensively about the roles of men and women and she has posted on her blog a four part series from an study on relationships that she wrote. The lesson is entitled, “Bearers and Defenders of Life.” You can read Part 1 by clicking here, Part 2 by clicking here, Part 3 by clicking here, and the Conclusion by clicking here.

WORLD magazine posted an interesting article on the topic, “Unwilling Warriors” (click here to read it) that describes some of the problems with women in combat. The most interesting fact they uncovered was the casualty rate comparison between mixed-gender combat units and all-male combat units.  Take a look at it and see if it makes any sense.

Finally, I’ve been following Public Catholic and she wrote recently about what real men DON’T do. I’ve put a link here to it because I think it falls along the same lines as what I’ve said above: men and women have God-given roles in our society and one of man’s roles is to protect and defend his family, including the baby in the womb. Here’s a link to “Real Men Don’t Kill Their Children,” but be forewarned that she has a picture of an aborted baby at the beginning of the post.

Updated 2 February 2013: added link to the conclusion of Bearers and Defenders of Life.

It’s Not About Politics, It’s About Who You Are

Yes, I stood in line yesterday (August 1, 2012) at Chick-fil-A to show my support for the company and for the owners. Yes, I had hoped to make a statement that, in this country, it is okay to make a statement based on our religious beliefs and you shouldn’t fear being vilified by the liberal media and those who don’t agree with you. Yes, I hope the elected officials who showed their intolerance towards those who disagree got a message that THEY are the closed-minded bigots.

However, here’s my biggest fear: the people who showed their support will not show it again when it comes to other decisions; for example, at the voting booth on election day. I’m about to make statements that almost everyone will call politically motivated. I disagree, it’s really about who you are and who you support.

There were some supporters of the presumed Republican candidate for president at my Chick-fil-A, and while some were happy to take bumper stickers and voiced their support, there were others who didn’t. Now I’m not sure which candidate or political party those who weren’t receptive are supporting, I didn’t ask and there are other parties and candidates other than the two major ones, but it’s a good chance that you’re supporting either the Republican party or the Democratic party and their respective candidates.

The question I have for those who supported Chick-fil-A yesterday is this: who are you voting for in November? I’m not here to sway your allegiances one way or the other. I’m here to ask you to take a look at yourself and who you are, then consider your actions and why it was necessary to even have a special day to support Chick-fil-A in the first place; or why it’s necessary for Christian businesses and organizations to spend time, money, and resources fighting to preserve their freedom of religion against a law that will force them to do something contrary to their beliefs.

You see, the Democratic National Party has for many election cycles showed it’s official support in it’s party platform for abortion-on-demand  and it appears it will continue to do so as this year’s committee is headed by a strategist for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the US.  But a new revelation appeared a few days ago: apparently, the platform committee will insert into the party platform official support for same-sex marriage.

A message that needs to get out to everyone is that your vote has consequences. Some people would call me a one issue voter (pro-life), but that’s wrong. I have many opinions on many topics; such as military and war, science and technology, the poor and needy, public school education, and on and on and on. But there are primary issues, basic paradigms, and first things that need to be considered…well, first. For me, that’s the sanctity of human life. If you don’t start there, I won’t consider voting for you. If you do start there, then let’s open a dialogue about some of the other issues we face in our nation.

I have often stated that it would be great if every political party in this nation began with the sanctity of human life as its basis, then we can continue to dialogue about other issues like education, military spending, or social security. But as long as we continue to support party platforms that demean human life and stifle freedom of religion, then nothing else matters.

Who are you? And what do you stand for?

Did you stand in line yesterday at Chick-fil-A but will be an ardent Democrat even though the party will officially stand against your beliefs and what you hold dear? Or will you send a message to the elitist leaders of that party that you won’t be used anymore and they need to align the party’s platform with your beliefs?

Maybe it’s just me, but I think this year’s presidential elections will say more about us as persons than us as a nation.

See a follow-up post on this topic, Pro-life Plank Denied by DNC Platform Committee.

Protecting My Wife

My mentor, Linda Bartlett, (click here to see her blog ) has always taught that one of God’s roles for men is to provide a covering for their wives. This covering, among other things, can be provided through physical protection or spiritual leadership.

This year, I purchased my first lawn mower. As I’ve done a couple of times already, I poured too much oil into the reservoir. Needless to say, when I started the mower, it looked like I was laying down a smoke screen to hide an invading army. My pride took a big hit…what would the neighbors think? What’s wrong with Ed: he can’t fill the oil properly and when he does it wrong, he can’t figure out how to drain it so it wouldn’t look like the subdivision was burning down!

So here I was, ready to give up and have the repairman come out again. Yes, again, because he’d already been out earlier this year when I ran over a tree stump in the backyard, a move that killed the blade and sheared something off (and I have no idea what that was). My wife was beside herself. Not only did we have the cost of buying a new mower this year, we’ve already had to pay to fix it once already. Her anxiety rose, her spirits dropped.

So I worked in a cloud of smoke and mowed the lawn. I buried my embarrassment and focused on getting the grass cut to an acceptable height. Someone once said to me that owning a home and doing the DIY jobs around the house was worth the pain and fatigue because you could be proud of the a job well done at the end of the day. Not really.

Rather, at the end of the day, I thanked God that I was able to provide my wife with a covering in the form of peace of mind. Even if it meant walking behind a cloud a smoke for an hour.